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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Her Highness Sheikha Khawla uses ancient art form to promote Arab culture worldwide

Letters of Love and Peace, featuring poems expressed through calligraphy, is being displayed at London’s Saatchi Gallery.

An exhibition of 20 artworks by Sheikha Khawla has gone on display at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Credit: Chiko Photography
An exhibition of 20 artworks by Sheikha Khawla has gone on display at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Credit: Chiko Photography

Prominent Emirati artist and member of the Al Nahyan royal family, Her Highness Sheikha Khawla bint Ahmed Khalifa Al Suwaidi, is currently using her skills as a poet and calligrapher to promote Arab culture internationally.

Khawla, who is the wife of UAE National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has displayed 20 of her artworks in London's Saatchi Gallery, located in the city's museum district in Kensington and Chelsea.

The collection, named Letters of Love and Peace, spoken with Ink and Paper, features many of the artist’s own poems shown through the ancient craft of calligraphy, blending illustrations with the written word.

Khawla uses her work to convey a message of peace and love, designed to encourage a greater understanding of the Arab world.

Highlights of the collection include a piece entitled Salam Ya Hawa, which examines the power of love letters and their connection to an everlasting peace and Keys of Happiness, which identifies the seven qualities needed to lead a life of contentment.

A global theme can be felt throughout the exhibition, which incorporates illustrations from Iran and frames made in Britain.

Unlike many calligraphers, Khawla does not use tracing or machines, instead employing a traditional method of writing straight onto papyrus, a material chosen for its durability.

Running from July 22 to August 18, her works have been warmly received by a large audience, which has included diplomats, officials, art critics and art lovers.

The exhibition is free for visitors because Khawla strongly believes that her art should be accessible for everyone.

The first exhibition of Khawla’s work was held in December last year under the title, "Fatima of Love and Peace" in Abu Dhabi, which was designed to coincide with an event to empower women in the UAE.

After the success of the London showing, there are now plans to take the exhibition stateside to New York City.